Saturday, October 25, 2014


Welcome to the first Wild Card Friday of October. On the fourth (and fifth) Fridays of every month 
I've invited one of my writer friends to share something fun and then tell you a bit about their work. This week Tanya Stowe has a picture to caption and a cool prize for the winner:

I can't  wait to see what your creative minds come up with, so caption away.

Tanya is offering a ebook download as a prize:

Madison Harper is glad to be alive after a devastating auto accident. She loves her new community, too. There's something peaceful about the Heart's Haven cottages. Madison wakes up every morning, praising the Lord and basking in constant sunshine--until the day Andrew Hart collapses from a massive heart attack and dies. 
When widower Vance Mallory arrives to help his sister bury her husband. He and Madison agree to bury the hatchet from their turbulent past. But no matter how hard they try, they seem to bring out the worst in each other. Their verbal battles uncover too many old hurts, mistaken paths, and hidden feelings.  
Can these two embittered souls ever hope to find peace and healing or has the healing peace of Heart's Haven died with Mr. Hart?

 Tanya Stowe is an author of Christian Fiction with an unexpected edge. She fills her stories with the unusual…gifts of the spirit and miracles, mysteries and exotic travel, even an angel or two. No matter where Tanya takes you…on a journey to the Old West or to contemporary adventures in foreign lands…be prepared for the extraordinary.

Leave your caption in a comment below and don't forget to click over to the AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT page while you're here.

Friday, October 17, 2014


Third Friday's on the blog are usually reserved for writing news if I have any. This week, instead of Valley View news, I have family news.

Meet Amy Jean Richardson and

William Lee Richardson.

Their membership in our family became official this week when a judge made their adoption by my youngest daughter and her husband final.

Meet the Richardson clan:

Left to right: Grandson Blake Richardson, Granddaughter Abigail Richardson, my daughter Tammi, holding Amy, the very nice judge who made it all happen, My son-in-law Tim Richardson holding William, hiding in the back grandson Brian Richardson, and last but hardly least Granddaughter Hailey Richardson.

Amy and William have been a part of our family for a year, ever since Tammi and Tim decided to become foster parents. It didn't take long for them to realize that they wanted a more permanent arrangement if possible and we all know that with God, all things are possible.

I have no adequate words to express my pride in, and love for, this whole family. Amy and William...welcome to the clan!

Friday, October 10, 2014


Welcome to this October's SECOND FRIDAY RECIPE. On the second Friday of each month, I've invited a fellow author to share a favorite recipe with us and maybe a little something about their latest book. This week I'd like to welcome Jacqueline Freeman Wheelock. Her favorite recipe? Gumbo. Take it away Jacqueline...

Time was when it took my mama all day to make gumbo, but here’s a recipe that delivers the same New Orleans taste in a fourth of the time.

Shortcut Chicken and Seafood Gumbo

·    One box of Zatarain’s gumbo base or any available brand (with or without rice)
·    Six to eight pieces of Popeye’s spicy chicken
 Note: If you live in an area without Popeye’s, simply purchase a cutup chicken (or chicken parts). Wash and season it, leaning heavily on creole/Cajun seasoning. Flour and brown it in the cooking oil of your choice.
·    Two to three large links of country sausage, sliced crosswise
·    One small can of stewed tomatoes
·    One pound of fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
·    A cluster of crab legs
·    A couple of drops of crab boil (optional)
·    One half teaspoon of gumbo file (ground sassafras leaves)
·    One small bag of frozen cut okra

Add three quarts of cold water to a medium-sized pot. Empty the box of gumbo base into the pot, and stir thoroughly until the base is dissolved. (It will clump if added to hot water.) Add chicken and sausage, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for fifteen minutes, stirring frequently.
Add tomatoes, shrimp, crab legs, crab boil, and gumbo file. Simmer for another five to seven minutes. Add okra and continue simmering until the okra is tender but still firm enough to hold its form. Add additional creole/Cajun seasoning to taste if need be.

Dinah Devereaux, New Orleans-born slave and ex-seamstress, suddenly finds herself relegated to a sweltering kitchen on a Natchez town estate. Having never cooked a day in her life, she is terrified of being found out and banished to the cotton fields. But when she accidentally burns the freedom papers of Jonathan Mayfield, a handsome free man of color to whom she's attracted, her fear of the fields becomes secondary.

A gifted cabinetmaker, Jonathan Mayfield’s heart is set on finally becoming a respected businessman by outfitting a bedroom at the palatial Riverwood—until a beautiful new slave destroys his proof of freedom and his fragile confidence along with it.

When Dinah's new mistress orders her to work alongside the sullen Mr. Mayfield, sparks fly setting the two on a collision course. Is their mutual love for God strong enough to overcome deep-seated insecurities and set the couple on a path toward self-acceptance and love for each other? 

Jacqueline Freeman Wheelock is a multi-published author whose works range from her “Christmas Lights” in Christmas Stories from Mississippi to her memoirs in Children of the Changing South: Accounts of Growing Up During and After Integration. Her first novel, A Most Precious Gift, released in August, 2014, and her story, “A Bracelet for Christmas,” is included in Guideposts’ A Cup of Christmas Cheer, October, 2014. A member of ACFW, Jacqueline is an avid reader of Christian fiction. She is a retired high school and college English teacher, and she and her husband Donald reside in central Mississippi. They are the parents of two adult children and one beloved granddaughter.